Reseller News

Intel's whitebook business kicks off at Synnex

Synnex says its Verified by Intel programme puts power in the hands of the channel. The company has been appointed as Intel's only New Zealand distributor of whitebooks — reseller-customisable barebone notebooks.

“The major feature is allowing resellers to customise to the end-user rather than just having a one-size-fits-all approach,” says Synnex country manager Richard Harri.

The initiative is an extension of Intel’s common building block programme, which standardises seven notebook components — the LCD screen, the battery, the AC adapter, the optical drive, the keyboard, the hard drive and a notebook panel that can be customised with an image or brand name.

Notebook manufacturing giants Asus, Compal and Quanta have so far joined Verified by Intel, and the 13 models are based on Intel’s 945 GM (integrated graphics) chip sets, or 945 PM (discrete graphics) chip sets. They have either 14.1- or 15.4-inch screens and run on Dual Core technology.

“They’re not positioned at the entry level; they’re performance notebooks because everyone’s moving to dual core,” Harri says.

He says the initiative overcomes many problems resellers have experienced, in particular having to stock proprietary parts to support a particular notebook brand, and the high minimum-order quantities original design manufacturers have traditionally set.

Harri says Synnex’s appointment here was a “natural fit”, because of its track record of supplying local system builders, and that Synnex has had a global relationship with Intel for 30 years.

When buying at standard dealer price, Synnex will bundle United Electrical Engineering’s two-year onsite warranty (which includes two years on the chassis and one on the battery) for those in the channel who are not already building notebooks. Synnex also works with UEE in Australia, where the warranty provider is based.

Resellers can list with UEE to carry out repairs, otherwise the notebooks will be fixed at a Next Electronics service centre.

Simon Nikolajenko, service manager of Levin-based reseller and notebook builder BL Microtek, says he appreciates being able to add value to the VBI notebooks by providing support. He also likes having Intel’s backing.

“Some people require that onsite, personal service, but it’s also backed by a big multinational.”

Nikolajenko says BL Microtek was the first in New Zealand to sell a VBI notebook last week, and he has had positive feedback from the customer who bought it.

“People don’t have to have what the other manufacturers have, and that’s what they’re stuck with. They can choose things like the speed of the CPU, the size of the hard drive and the operating system.”

The notebooks are supplied by Synnex’s Taipei headquarters.